Herbie Hancock this weekend. Along with Headhunters, recorded live at Radio Bremen on November 11, 1974. As one of the prime architects in the Post-Bop period and one of the first to incorporate Synthesizers and Funk into Jazz, Hancock has been one of the great movers and shakers in helping shape and redefine Jazz’s place in our cultural idiom.
As someone who worked with the likes of Miles Davis and Donald Byrd, Hancock has been no stranger to innovation and reaching for new and different ideas. In Hancock’s case, his style of improvisation has roots in Jazz, Blues and Classical music, with stylings very closely associated with the music of Ravel and Debussy.
All this by way of saying that Herbie Hancock has succeeded in keeping Jazz fresh and vibrant and, true to its form, ever-evolving.
This concert, recorded some 42 years ago, features Hancock during his legendary Headhunters period, where mixing Funk and Electronica in the framework of Jazz was taking shape – the results became some of Herbie Hancock’s most accessible and across-the-board popular work. And it was during this period where so many Rock listeners became fans of Jazz because of the nod to Funk and Rock – it was as if he discovered a whole new audience and a whole new audience discovered him.
Listening to the music of Herbie Hancock throughout his many years of playing and collaborating is like getting a lesson in Music History itself – he’s been associated with so many aspects of Jazz, that hearing him is like listening to the evolution of Jazz.
If you aren’t familiar with him, you really need to do a search and discover the music of Herbie Hancock – his music is a veritable feast of styles and points of view. If you are familiar and are a fan – this will be a nice reminder of when Jazz and Funk got together for some fun.